By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

Health officials in southern Spain’s Andalusia region have announced the first human West Nile virus (WNV) deaths in the outbreak in Seville. On Thursday, a 77-year-old man from La Puebla del Río was the first death, which was followed Friday by a 85-year-old woman in Seville.


The WNV outbreak in Seville has seen 38 cases to date, the largest outbreak ever reported in Andalusia, according to the director of the Aljarafe health district, Rocío Hernández, who said that this number of cases has only been registered in other countries such as Greece and Romania.

In response to the outbreak, the Andalusian health department last week recommended that the 42,000 residents of the areas in question take measures to avoid mosquitoes, such as the use of repellents and nets, and activated a special protocol, which includes fumigations.

Up to 80 percent of people who become infected with West Nile virus do not develop any symptoms.

About 20% of people who become infected with WNV will develop West Nile fever. Symptoms include fever, headache, tiredness, and body aches, nausea, vomiting, occasionally with a skin rash (on the trunk of the body) and swollen lymph glands.

Less than 1% of people who are infected will develop a serious neurologic illness such as encephalitis or meningitis (inflammation of the brain or surrounding tissues). Of this number, about 10 percent will die.